Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free to Be You and Holy Hell, No They Just Did Not! (um, recap)

Was so excited that I am writing this fresh off my DVRed viewing, so not so much careful quoting as major paraphrasing. I trust y'all to correct me if I get anything wrong :-)

And before we go any further, obligatory SPOILER alert for last night's ep "Free to Be You and Me" (in which our intrepid heroes have parted ways :sob:)

Okay, THEN, and now: Sam wakes up in a hotel bed with....Jessica. Who appears to be getting all pep-talky about how it's silly for him to run away from Dean/hunting because what he's really trying to do is run away from himself which ain't gonna fly. He will always be a freak. More or less. And I had two gut reactions to this scene.

1) Have you guys noticed that whenever the guys part ways/are separated by one of them being tortured in hell, Sam ends up alongside some chick? Meg, in Scarecrow, as early as season 1. Then later, the poor doomed engaged girl who was also "special." And do not even get me started on Ruby in the months Dean was dead. (I even think I might be missing one in there. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)

2) I turned to my hubby and asked, "So do we think this is like the good spirit of Jess trying to put him back on his right path--ie fighting evil with his bro--or do we think it's something evil disguised as Jess trying to make him so hopeless he kills himself or something equally ill-advised and desperate?" (Stick around til the end of the recap for the exciting answer).

Show opens on fabulous "Simple Man" montage which juxtaposes Sam's new life as a barback (splattering lemon juice on himself) against Dean's continuing hunter's life (in which he of course is spattered in blood). Honestly, this couple of minutes was quite well done.

Sam is working in a bar under the name of "Keith" (really? I don't see it) and being snuck up on by Castiel ("Cass, we've talked about this. Personal space!"). And now I must say something which is going to cause you guys to throw rotten fruit at me and disavow me as a blasphemer. Of COURSE I want the brothers to mend their falling out and rediscover their fun kicking butt chemistry circa season 2, but y'all, if Dean and Castiel ever got a spin-off, I would totally watch it. As always Dean has his pop-culture refs (namely, Thelma and Louise) but they're more hilarious now that he's bouncing him off someone who clearly Does Not Get It.

Cass is still on his quest to find God and has a lead in the form of the archangel Rafael (who used up a human vessel and left him pretty much a vegetable. Guy's now a vegevessel.) Dean takes Cass to interview a partially deaf sherrif who witnessed the angel smiting demons (even though the sheriff didn't realize that's what he saw). Dean was being his usual slick "Federal Agent So and So" self while Castiel was more like--as my husband put it--Rainman, not being able to wrap his mind around this whole "humans lie" concept.

Over in Sam world, a cute blond girl is falling for the mysterious brooding barback and challenges him to darts. If she wins, he has to tell his life story. No sooner has he kicked her butt while barely glancing at the dartboard than we get a local news report that the weather has gone all apocalypse nowish with freak storms. (And where I live, we had major rains and scary flooding earlier in the week, so quickly moving on...)

Sam calls Bobby, who kicks metaphorical butt even from his chair. When Sam wants Bobby to send a Hunter to investigate the end-times phenomena, Bobby ponders, "Well let me think who's the best hunter I know in the area. Oh, wait, that'd be YOU." Sam hangs up on him but a later scene shows three Hunters who blow his cover by showing up at the bar and calling him "Sam." (At which point, I totally said to my husband, you know at least one of these guys is going to die, now that Sam has refused to help them, adding to his overall guilt and Sideburns of Angst.)

Back to the Dean and Castiel show. Cass is fairly certain that while Dean (as Michael's vessel) might be safe, Rafael (aka the "teenage mutant ninja angel") is totally going to kick Cass ass after the planned interrogation. In fact, Cass might stay dead this time, and Dean decides Cass should not die a virgin. He takes him to a BROTHEL, where Misha Collins did some hilariously fine acting by looking terrified of a hooker. Named Chastity. No sooner had Dean sent Cass and Chas down the hall than she shrieks and angry looking bouncers ensue. (Apparetly Castiel tried to assure her that her father abandoning her was not her fault, which freaked her right the hell out. Dean makes a tawdry joke, but because the writers of this show are in no way lazy, the whole abandoned father theme makes a poignant return a few scenes later.)

Dean and Cass, with a few great lines riffing off each other, finally manage to trap rafael, who proclaims God is dead. (Who is this guy, Nietzsche?) Y'all, the whole There Is No God thing is starting to annoy me. My own personal beliefs aside, it lends SUCH an imbalance to the show. We have bad guys everywhere--including Team Angel--but other than Bobby, Cass (who Rafael actually thinks LUCIFER might have brought back to keep the angels fighting amongst themselves) and brothers we-inadvertently-started-the-endtimes Winchster, precious few good guys. Of course, even the question of God's absence results in a great scene, so no more whining from Tanya.

Samland: Sam has bonded with the cute blonde at the bar (who turns out to be a recovering alcoholic who recognizes a fellow addict) when suddenly the hunters return. Pissed. Because one of them was gutted and because the demon they captured said a lot about Sam, which they took seriously and not well. They force him to drink demon blood, hoping he'll go "hulk" and kill the rest of the demons. They threaten to kill Lindsay (aforementioned cute blonde) to make Sam do their bidding. He awesomely spits demon blood in their faces and kicks their collective butts before ordering them out of town.

Cass and Dean in car, fleeing angrily trapped archangel. Dean encourages Cass to "keep looking" for God because "I know a little something about fathers who disappear." It was an awesome exchange and also heart-breaking because John really did a number on his kids, especially the oldest (sorry, JDM, but you know it's true.) Furthermore, looking after Sam has ALSO done a number on Dean and he exposits that he's actually, unbelievably, much happier alone. At which point in the conversation Castiel disappears.

And I am both understanding and sad. I DO see how it would wear on Dean. Yet I cannot wait to see the brothers again in the same scene, not at odds with each other as they were for much of season four.

Flash to Sam waking in hotel room...not alone. This time his conversation with "Jess" is clearly more sinister as she encourages him to "abandon hope" and fades into Mark Pellegrino's Lucifer. My husband and I debated whether this was a dream sequence but Lou won the debate for me when he tells Sam, "you're hard to find. I don't suppose you'd tell me where you are?" So apparently he hasn't yet physically located him but can still reach out to him through his dreams. You see he's seeking Sam because Sam is--and it dawned on me bare moments before Lou said it--HIS VESSEL.

Which, you know, of course is awful, but damn! The writers set Dean up as Michael's vessel and Sam up as Lucifer's. Wow. Nicely done. (Although of course horrible and depressing and completely contrary to what Kripke said about this being a more "optimistic" season in which the brothers became "closer." To what? Annihilating each other?)

And did y'all SEE the previews for next week??????

Overall, even though I was expecting to balk more at the separated Winchesters (usually my least favorite eps) I thought the writers did really well with this one. What about you guys? Favorite/least favorite moments?


CS said...

lol @ sideburns of angst!

Agree with Dean-Cass bonding, would be a nice diversion and they have amazing chemistry. That personal space scene was so hilarious.

That whole Rafael thing was a bit scary. The way he kept threatening to use his imagination...I was cringing in my seat!

Those damn hunters making Sam drink the demon blood, it was so sad! What's more sad is Lucifer saying he's never going to trick or push Sam to consent and he will do it on his own? What on earth could make Sam do that???

Next week's episode seems very interesting! Loved Sam in white suit with a glow around!!! And Cass? stoned and with women around??

sarah said...

AGH! I'm beginning to think that I need to stop watching it for a while and letting it queue up on the DVR so that each week WON'T BE SO PAINFUL OF A WAIT!

I feel like a brick hit me in the head last night with Lucifer and Sam. WHY DIDN'T I SEE IT BEFORE!

And then Dean role as being Micheal's vessel made so much more sense! Not just by ways of conflict - but well.. Lucifer was one of the most highest angels - as apparently so is Michael if Michael was the only angel that could kick Lucifer out of heaven - it might make you think that Michael and Lucifer are brothers.

And Cas... Cas so rocks. I heart Cas. And after him in the brothel - him and an orgy! (LAUGHS SO HARD!)

And as for Lucifer saying he won't trick or lie to Sam... uhm... he had already done that when he stated that.

So... I have to wonder - discounting next week's ep - which I am sure that it is going to be used to point out to Dean that he needs to fulfill his destiny to be Michael's vessel - if the brothers are going duke it out or make a stand to not be pawns.

I mean... Sam's been prepared to be Lucifer's vessel with the demon's blood. But what about Dean? Did his trip to Hell prepare him? It was suggested earlier that John could have been the righteous man that could have started all of it. But he survived Hell's torture, when Dean, also a righteous man, buckled to the torture. Was John the original vessel for Michael and Dean was the backup plan? OR was John the vessel for God - since he could not be tainted by the horrors of Hell.

Okay... I'll stop now. I'm all crazy with ideas now...

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Wonderful writeup, Tanya! You hit all my favorite things. :)

I thought at the end of last season that Sam was going to be Lucifer's vessel, but dropped the idea when it didn't happen. But now we have firmer evidence that it WASN'T Lucifer that brought Castiel back, because someone still pulled Sam and Dean out of the convent, and Lucifer neither had the power to do that at the time (he wasn't fully out of the pit yet), nor did he have reason to want that--he'd have preferred Sam be right there.

I think the balance you reference, re: "God is dead," is coming. I don't think it's going to be all evil, all the time. But narrative is stronger when we get to that pit of despair first. :( (I meant to do :) but :( came out, so I decided my fingers were being Freudian and left it. LOL)

Anonymous said...

>>>And as for Lucifer saying he won't trick or lie to Sam... uhm... he had already done that when he stated that<<<

Excellent point, Sarah! I mean M.P. played that scene very poignantly and you could almost beleive him, but since he'd JUST been disguised as Jess, it's clear he's not as against deception as he'd like us to think!

LOL, Nat, at your Freduian face of despair...

Barbara said...

I loved Dean and Cas and I'd totally watch if they did a spin off too. It was funny when Dean killed the vamp and said, "Eat it Twilight." I knew those hunters were going to be trouble the second they stepped into that bar. I can't wait for next week since that looks funny although it looks like Sam stole Lex's suit. I'll need to get my brain together for my babbling but I'll be puting Vampire Diaries up first. Who knows I might actually be coherent or maybe not.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I have a feeling Sam in Lex's suit is actually Lucifer in Sam in Lex's suit, and agree the flash forward is supposed to be what will happen if Dean refuses to host Michael.

I just don't think they'll go there, though. If Michael takes over Dean and Lucifer takes over Sam, then they won't be Dean and Sam anymore, and what's the point of that?

Anonymous said...

Sideburns of angst! Tanya I <3 u. :)

Enjoyed the episode, but hate the brothers apart and Bobby being off the hunt.

Trish Milburn said...

I had to LOL at the sideburns of angst too!

Tanya, a wonderful recap. It was great to see some funny stuff again (OMG, the look on Cas's face at the brothel -- priceless). And when Cas tries to transport himself and Dean to Maine by magical means and Dean refuses, saying that the last time he did that Dean "didn't poop for a week." LOL!!!!

I do love the Dean-Cas scenes, but the scene where Dean says that he's happy without Sam and that he's had more fun with Cas in 24 hours than he has with Sam in years -- dude, that was a total kick in the chest. I'm with you, Tanya. I can't see how this is an optimistic season with the brothers getting closer. Perhaps we'll see that later on, but now it's just sad. I mean, how in the world are the brothers going to avoid this whole vessel thing?

Trish Milburn said...

Sarah, you're right -- Lucifer did already trick Sam with the whole Jess illusion.

Bard Girl, LOL about Sam stealing Lex's suit. :) And I agree, Natalie, I think it's Lucifer in Sam.

It's interesting that it's going to be a flash forward and it raises the question that if they see the future, can they change it? I watched the premiere of Flash Forward last night and was already thinking about these types of questions. Another cool show that makes you think a lot, btw.

Kim said...

I can say that I am such a total Pollyanna and that my favorite part of the whole ep was when Sam is like, "People can change!" of course my mellow was immediately harshed, just as Sam's was...

It's going to be a rough, rough season. The brotherly reunion had better make my head explode with happiness!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Hear Hear, Kim!

But episode 5 is the one with Paris Hilton, so that makes me hopeful that:

1. They'll be lightening things up a little for that ep.

2. It will be more like the standalone hunt-of-the-week eps (which I had a hard time imagining them fitting in this season).

3. Maybe the boys will hook back up at the end of next week's ep and start the healing/rebuilding process in ep 5.

If that's all true, I'll be muy happy. :)

Poppycole said...

Just thought I would pop in before tonight's episode and let you guy's know that buddy tv had an interesting thread going on Supernatural about who would be God and whether he would need a vessel. Just though I would bring it up as possibly a good post for over here.

MJFredrick said...

My husband thinks JDM shoudl come back and play God's vessel. I whole-heatedly agree. Ahem.